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Comparing used car deals?
Old 06-13-2015, 10:06 PM   #1
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Comparing used car deals?

We are unique like this, but DH and I hate car buying. We admit it.

We are in the market for a used Honda CR-V.

We have found two we like. Two different years (we only buy used). Two different trim packages. One is way cooler, and the lesser cool one is $2000 cheaper.

I admit we are sissies at car buying. And, we need/want guidance. I want to go with nicer one (leather seats and sun roof), but $2000 is not an insignificant amount.

Wondering if there is some algorithm where one can put in the particulars and get advice?
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #2
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I would start here (drop down menu under Car Values):

Kelley Blue Book - New & Used Car Price Values
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:36 PM   #3
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It really is what do you want in a vehicle....

My DW WANTS a nice vehicle.... we get a higher version of whatever we buy... our last purchase was down a bit since we did not need to pay $5K extra for NAV, back seat entertainment and a few other minor things...

We do have a Hyundai Elantra which is not a top of the line car, but we did buy the top of the line version...

We keep 10 or more years, so it is worth it to us to spend the extra... also, we buy new since the used prices just do not seem to go down enough for me and I do not want to buy something that is 5 or more years old...
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:43 PM   #4
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kbb is indeed a good place to start. Ultimately you have to decide whether the extra options are worth it to you. Some people care nothing about a sun roof or leather, so a $10 difference isn't worth it, unless you'd plan to sell it in a coupleyears. Sounds like you'd enjoy both, but $2000 seems high if that's the only difference. Maybe the more expensive one has fewer miles?

I would also get a carfax report on any used car, to make sure it hasn't been in a major accident or flood that could cause problems that aren't easily detected in a test drive. You probably also ought to get it checked out by a mechanic.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:30 AM   #5
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I don't buy cars often but I truly enjoy car buying, just another challenging game I am out to win. Once you understand the sellers angles, and do your research, if you're smart, patient and don't (visibly) fall in love with a car you can save lots and lots of money on all but the most in-demand models. I've even taken the lead buying cars for a few friends & family who didn't like the process.
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I would also get a carfax report on any used car, to make sure it hasn't been in a major accident or flood that could cause problems that aren't easily detected in a test drive. You probably also ought to get it checked out by a mechanic.
+1, but make sure you follow both recommendations. CarFax is by no means bulletproof, do a search and read plenty more on CarFax. When buying a used car, once I finalized which exact car assuming it's clear according to CarFax, I would definitely take it to the best mechanic I could find to give it a thorough going over.

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Many consumers think a Carfax or AutoCheck report reveals everything that could possibly be wrong with a used vehicle - this is simply not true.

It's smart to get a Carfax or AutoCheck report, but it's even smarter to take it with a grain of salt and make sure you do some more due diligence before buying a used car. My best advice is to have a mechanic thoroughly inspect any car you're serious about buying.
Why CarFax is Not Always Accurate
Used Car History Reports, Issues With Carfax & More - Conumer Reports
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:02 AM   #6
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Another place you might look for information is Used Cars, New Cars, Reviews, Photos and Opinions - CarGurus

The site gives a rating of what sort of deal the price of a particular used vehicle is compared to others of the same year/make/model. Click on a vehicle, then scroll down the page and click on "Instant Market Value: Show breakdown" for a neat graph comparing vehicles/prices.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:18 AM   #7
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I probably should not respond to this thread since I am a "Car-Guy" and for me, I'll typically go with the more expensively option vehicles. If you are buying used, and all you really want is transportation then go with the one that meets your minimum needs/cost and seems to be mechanically in the best shape.

If I'm buying/selling a new or fairly new car, (and not a collectable) then I'll use KBB (Kelley's Blue Book) as "a general pricing guide". It's not absolute but it gives me a idea of where to start in negotiating. Don't be intimidated by salesmen. It's your money and you can always walk away. I have bought a lot of cars and have probably walked away from as many car deals as I have bought.

You only live once, enjoy life.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:26 AM   #8
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used car deals? are there any?

DW and myself really hate car buying too. Usually we only do it when we have to. However, we broke the rule for ER this year and bought a new Outback which was not in the budget and was to replace a car that normally we would have driven for many more years. And the outback was twice the cost of the most expensive car I've ever bought new.

The OP did not indicate if they are buying from owner or dealer. What I found with dealers... buying recent models, you don't get a great reduction in price. For me it was not worth it. This is likely true for older cars too. I traded a 10 year old sentra for the outback. Trade in $3k, they sold it for $5.5k. There was a major used car dealer that was selling a year old outback for a bit less than we paid, but had over 60k miles. By the way, subaru has improved safety and mileage on the 2015 to the point that I would want the new one. Plus 60k miles... the best are gone already in my opinion unless the price is significantly different.

Above are my warped thoughts on car buying.

I think the comments above are to the point. You need to decide what the cooler car options are worth to you. You may want to consider resale value too. I would suggest you consider that when buying a used car that the price is negotiable... likely more so than with new cars. You likely can get your best price from private owners also. Also note that dealers likely will use a more pessimistic guide than KBB when making an offer to buy a car/trade in.

good luck.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:47 AM   #9
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If I were going to keep the car for several years then I would spend the extra $2k for the features I wanted.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:51 AM   #10
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We bought a CRV last year. Originally I looked at used ones, but decided that the difference in price between a used one and a hard bargained new one was too small. My initial thought was to get a basic trim model but DW opted to go with a middle trim with a sunroof and other goodies, which was a few thousand more. Averaged over 10 years or more that we will keep it , I think that it was a small extra cost for the enjoyment that DW gets from the added options.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:28 AM   #11
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I think that not getting the options that you want on what is already an expensive purchase is a major mistake. A friend bought a brand new Sonata a few years ago and he shopped heavily by price. He didn't get some of things that he had in his trade-in, such as a compass in the mirror, and he's regretted it ever since.

Using Honda's 2015 options list, it looks like the higher trim line that you are considering is the EX-L (L for leather.) There are several features in the EX and/or L package that I would want in any new car. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is a must for me as are heated seats so I would vote for the more expensive car.
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:27 PM   #12
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I think that not getting the options that you want on what is already an expensive purchase is a major mistake. A friend bought a brand new Sonata a few years ago and he shopped heavily by price. He didn't get some of things that he had in his trade-in, such as a compass in the mirror, and he's regretted it ever since.

Using Honda's 2015 options list, it looks like the higher trim line that you are considering is the EX-L (L for leather.) There are several features in the EX and/or L package that I would want in any new car. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is a must for me as are heated seats so I would vote for the more expensive car.
I have a friend who is looking at CRV.... he said they did not have power seats.... (well, maybe at the top of the line where he does not want to go)... to me, a power seat should be in all but the lowest level on any car...
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Old 06-14-2015, 12:49 PM   #13
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Remember what Yogi said--All Car Buying is Local.
That said, when you figure out exactly what you want, scour the ads, craigslist and any websites for private sellers and dealers alike for comparison prices. If you go only with KBB info, your salesperson may say--"Yeah, but that isn't what they sell for here in Hooterville, and you say--oh really. well then look at this list of cars within 100 miles of here. Hopefully the median price of your comparables is lower than what you are being offered. Keep in mind, your list of comps will be "asking prices, not final prices.
Once you compute a "reasonable" price you are willing to pay, then your best weapon becomes the willingness to walk away if they won't meet your price.
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I don't buy cars often but I truly enjoy car buying, just another challenging game I am out to win. Once you understand the sellers angles, and do your research, if you're smart, patient and don't (visibly) fall in love with a car you can save lots and lots of money on all but the most in-demand models. I've even taken the lead buying cars for a few friends & family who didn't like the process.

+1, but make sure you follow both recommendations. CarFax is by no means bulletproof, do a search and read plenty more on CarFax. When buying a used car, once I finalized which exact car assuming it's clear according to CarFax, I would definitely take it to the best mechanic I could find to give it a thorough going over.

Why CarFax is Not Always Accurate
Used Car History Reports, Issues With Carfax & More - Conumer Reports

I flew 3 states over to buy a used vehicle that was exactly what I wanted. I bought it mostly from the pictures and the CarFax report site unseen. Its funny how stereotypes often are true. The report showed no lien ever, no wrecks, and yearly property taxes paid a month early. So I thought....Who the hell would pay cash for a then $38k car, and always license it yearly a month early....Old retired man, thats who. After I got car home from dealer I found the owners name in glovebox and googled it. Yep, he was 73 years and it looked like it was a brand new car. Them old people usually take care of their cars!


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Old 06-14-2015, 07:06 PM   #15
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I dream of having heated seats in a car some day! Not gonna happen anytime soon, but why on earth would the compass in the rearguard mirror matter? I have that now, and it seems kinda dumb.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I dream of having heated seats in a car some day! Not gonna happen anytime soon, but why on earth would the compass in the rearguard mirror matter? I have that now, and it seems kinda dumb.
I don't even like mine, just a red letter or two to distract me. I can turn it off, but next time I turn the car back on it's on again. Subaru can be dumb about their driver interface. It may have been more useful before navigation in cars or on phones, but I can't think of one time it's been helpful to me.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:29 PM   #17
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Unless the cost of the car is a real financial struggle, you might opt for the more expensive model. After all, in the final analysis, you can't take that extra cash with you...
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:47 PM   #18
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We bought a CR-V a couple of years ago. Do check the price on new vs. used--there was very little difference when we bought. Personal opinion only: We deliberately sought a vehicle without a sunroof--we've had them before, seldom opened them, and when it leaked it was a major hassle. Deliberately putting a hole in the roof--well.
These are reliable vehicles that depreciate slowly. If you buy a new one you'll know it was serviced reliably and how it was treated from day one. Drive it for a decade or more.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:26 PM   #19
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We used to use TrueCar for both used and new pricing, but I've read since our last purchase dealer complaints made them less aggressive on the comparison shopping front -

Insight: U.S. asks if car dealers ganged up on shopping website TrueCar | Reuters

"The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether car dealers across the United States ganged up against TrueCar, agreeing among themselves not to do business with the California-based Internet company because it was driving down prices, said people who have received letters from the FTC including TrueCar Inc chief executive Scott Painter."
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I dream of having heated seats in a car some day! Not gonna happen anytime soon, but why on earth would the compass in the rearguard mirror matter? I have that now, and it seems kinda dumb.
We have our first car ever with heated seats but we don't use them too much here. Sometimes after we do use them we forget to turn them off. Then we drive around wondering why the weather suddenly turned so hot until we remember to check the car seats.
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